BLANTYRE (AFP) - US pop icon Madonna has begun her legal defence in a Malawian court as workers at one of the singer's charity projects attempt to sue for unfair dismissal, a tribunal official said Monday. Eight staff at the failed $15 million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls (RMAG) lodged the action at the end of March, claiming they were let go without proper procedures. The star said "there is nothing unfair about the termination of the applicants' employment given the termination of employment was necessitated by genuine economic reasons," in documents filed last week by lawyer Davis Njobvu. Madonna said the decision not to continue funding the academy project was taken by by her charity Raising Malawi Inc "after carefully reviewing its financial commitments and future plans and was made in good faith."